Exclusive: Leon Panetta returned to government in 2009 amid hopes he could cleanse the CIA where torture and politicized intelligence had brought the U.S. to new lows in world respect. Yet, after four years at CIA and Defense, it is Panetta who departs morally compromised, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
Despite evidence over the centuries that torture fails to elicit reliable information – and is criminal as well – apologists for George W. Bush and movies like Zero Dark Thirty continue to perpetuate the myth that torture is a necessary evil, at least when Americans are doing the torturing, as Lawrence Davidson writes.
Movie-goers across America can now see the hunt-for-bin-Laden film, “Zero Dark Thirty,” and its graphic portrayal of torture as a key element in that search. But the filmmakers distort the facts and ignore the reality that torture is illegal, immoral and dangerously ineffective, writes Marjorie Cohn.
Exclusive: The neocon Washington Post let ex-CIA official Jose Rodriguez, who oversaw waterboarding and other torture and then destroyed the videotaped evidence, make his case that there was no torture, just effective interrogation that helped get Osama bin Laden. But ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern disagrees.
Holding national security officials accountable for torture and other crimes against humanity may seem like the right thing to do when it’s someone else’s country. But U.S. politicians keep finding excuses when the abusers are American, observes the Independent Institute’s Ivan Eland.
Exclusive: Attorney General Eric Holder’s decision not to prosecute CIA torturers in two high-profile homicides bows to the political difficulty of going after field agents while sparing superiors, including ex-President George W. Bush. But the all-clear on torture sends a dangerous message, says ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern.
Two recent rulings, one in Israel blaming American Rachel Corrie for her own death while obstructing the demolition of Palestinian homes and another in America absolving torturers in the murder of detainees, suggest that national security trumps justice and international law is easily brushed aside, writes Lawrence Davidson.
Bush-era torture and extraordinary rendition have been pushed aside by the Obama administration, as it still seeks to look forward, not backward. But a group of international parliamentarians revived the troubling issue in calling for serious investigations now, not later, reports Nat Parry.
America is awash in media detailing the lives of celebrities and the latest turns in political polls, but rarely addressing the painful questions about the dark side of U.S. foreign policy, a topic that Bill Moyers and Michael Winship say should be confronted this Memorial Day.
Exclusive: During recent presidential debates, moderators have asked mostly predictable questions and – except for some notable gaffes – have elicited mostly talking-point answers. But ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern says it’s time for citizens to put politicians on the spot with some more pointed questions.